Friday, May 19, 2006

Media mergers

Today we held our '3 C's' Conference on media mergers at MBS with Simon Anderson, Graeme Samuel (ACCC) and Kim Williams (CEO Foxtel) speaking. Some highlights ....
  • Simon Anderson spoke to our joint paper on what is different about media mergers? Interestingly, in commentary on it, Stephen King suggested that because of their two-sided nature -- supplying viewers and advertisers -- it is likely that any large merger will require authorisation and could not be analysed solely on competitive grounds.
  • Graeme Samuel demonstrated how in touch he was with latest technological developments in the media especially the issues associated with the use of the Internet to produce alternatives to consumers than traditional media. This, of course, lent itself directly to concerns over control of the Internet echoing my 2000 submission to the Productivity Commission on the same topic.
  • Kim Williams outlined Foxtel's new strategy of getting 'same day' content of television from the US so that Australians don't have to wait between 6 months and foreever to view television. As I wrote recently, that might help slow illegal downloads.

A very interesting day suggesting very interesting times ahead.

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